Kent Roofing: Article About Do's and Dont's Of Ice Dams
The sight of icicles dangling from the eaves can make a house look like a lovely winter wonderland. The technical term for icicles is ice dams and ignoring them can turn a roof designed to last 25 years into one that needs replacing in less than half that time. This article explains why ice dams happen, how they can be prevented and what not to do when they do occur.
When the weather turns cold enough for a few inches of snow to accumulate on a roof, the occupants inside are keeping toasty and warm by heating the interior. Along with heat, the occupants are also creating moisture by cooking, talking, bathing and breathing. All this warm, moist air reaches the cold attic, where it causes condensation, which leads to rotting wood and costly repairs.
Costly Kent roofing repairs can be avoided with proper insulation. In fact, many warranties require that an attic be insulated in order to remain valid. As a rule of thumb, for every 300 square feet of attic, there needs to be one square foot of hole in the roof to let hot air escape. This needs to be divided half and half between the top and bottom of the roof. There are all manner of roofing accessories available to make the most out of these holes. These include ridge vents, soffit vents, ridge runners, box vents, fans, etc.
The expert roofers at Chase NW of Kent can assist you with any questions regarding commercial roofing or metal roofing.
Research has shown that aiming for an attic temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature is in the low 20s can reduce the risk of ice dam formation. Also, avoiding putting light fixtures or ceiling fans that have electrical junction boxes that are mounted flush with the ceiling can omit leakage of warm air.
When ice dams do form, there are a number of do's and don'ts associated with dealing with them. For example, chipping away at an ice dam can lead to damaged shingles. Installing large pieces of equipment in the attic, such as water heaters, is another don't; not only does this create a needless fire hazard, it also adds heat, which accelerates the formation of ice dams.
Some people advise using calcium chloride or ordinary salt to melt the ice. This works in the same way as gritting road surfaces. It is also corrosive and can ruin metal gutters, flashings and downspouts. Not only can these solutions damage the structure of the house, they can also kill any nearby plant life.
A well-ventilated roof can help to ensure a roof lasts as long as the manufacturer guarantees it will. A manufacturer-certified roofing contractor is the best person to advise on the right type of ventilation for a particular roof.